Iran, Russia to hold joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

Press TV – The naval forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia plan to stage a joint exercise in the Caspian Sea to display their military might.

Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told IRIB on Friday that a naval fleet, comprised of the domestically-manufactured Damavand destroyer and missile-launching Peykan-class warship, would leave for the Russian port city of Makhachkala located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea on Saturday.

He added that the flotilla was expected to dock at the Russian port city within two days to convey the Islamic Republic’s message of peace and friendship, boost bilateral marine cooperation and improve security in the Caspian Sea.

Sayyari noted that the day-long joint naval drill would take place as part of the three-day visit.

The top commander emphasized that Iran was fully aware of various scenarios of threats against the country and would not allow anyone to approach its maritime borders.

Iran has taken all the necessary preparedness steps in proportionate to threats or even beyond them, Sayyari said.

He referred to Iran’s naval cooperation with different countries across the world, particularly with regional states, and said, “Such marine relationships show that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a regional and strong naval power, plays a leading role in establishing security.”

During a Russian naval fleet’s visit to the northern Iranian port city of Bandar-e Anzali in July, the two countries’ navies staged joint exercises in the Caspian Sea to strengthen naval cooperation between the two countries.

It was the fifth Russian naval flotilla visiting the Iranian Caspian port city in the past decade.

Iran and Russia have formed a strong alliance in recent years, with their naval vessels making regular “friendly port calls.”

Russia’s Makhachkala battle cruiser is seen at the northern Iranian port city of Bandar-e Anzali on July 12, 2017. (Photo by IRNA)

On March 7, a flotilla of Iranian warships left the country’s northern territorial waters for Russia in a bid to convey the Islamic Republic’s message of peace and friendship.

In recent years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.

In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.

Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.